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Encyclopedia > New Brunswick New Democratic Party

The New Brunswick New Democratic Party is a social democratic political party in New Brunswick, Canada that is linked with the federal New Democratic Party of Canada.

The New Brunswick NDP traces its roots to the Fredricton Socialist League founded in 1902. The League had branches throughout the province by World War I.

In 1932, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, a federal political party, was formed with the proclamation of the Regina Manifesto. In 1933, the Moncton Trades and Labour Council adopted a resolution to create a branch of the CCF in New Brunswick. This led to the creation of the New Brunswick CCF that year.

In 1961, the CCF merged with the labour movement to form the New Democratic Party at both federal and provincial levels.

In the early 1970s, the New Brunswick NDP was taken over by the Waffle, a radical wing of the party. The federal NDP responded by temporarily dissolving the provincial wing.

In 1982, the party won its first seat in the Legislative Assembly since its inception as the CCF, but has been unable to expand its presence in the provincial legislature in the subsequent twenty years.

Elizabeth Weir has led the party since 1987, and is currently the party's only member in the legislature. On October 8, 2004, she announced her resignation as leader of the party. She will continue to represent the riding of Saint John Harbour until the next election.

In 1997, for the first time, federal NDP MPs were elected from New Brunswick. (The CCF had not been successful in that arena either.) Both MPs, Yvon Godin and Angela Vautour, were elected in Acadian areas of the province. Before the 2000 election, however, Vautour left the NDP caucus to sit with the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. Vautour ran as a PC candidate in 2000, and lost. Godin was reelected as an NDP member in both 2000 and 2004.

However, the provincial NDP has not successfully capitalized on the federal party's inroads in the region, and failed to win any seats in the area in the 2003 provincial election. The party is currenty in the process of holding a leadership race to replace Elizabeth Weir who has been leader since 1988.

See also: List of Canadian political parties

External links

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New Brunswick is bounded on the north by Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula and Chaleur Bay and on the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and Northumberland Strait.
New Brunswick's relative location away from the Atlantic coastline hindered new settlement during the immediate post war period; although there were some notable exceptions such as the founding of "The Bend" (present day Moncton) in 1766 by Pennsylvania Dutch settlers sponsored by Benjamin Franklin's Philadelphia Land Company.
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New Brunswick is Canada’s only officially bilingual province, and under the Official Languages Act (passed in 1969 and amended in 2002), English and French have equal status in all forums of provincial government.
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New Brunswick is also represented by nine senators, appointed by the federal government, in the Senate.
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